Mayo 6-25 Sligo 2-11: six of the best to complete Connacht five-in-a-row

Fifth Nestor in a row

Five years ago, an utterly toothless display against Sligo in Markievicz Park saw us crash out of the Connacht championship at the preliminary round stage. Since that June 2010 evening, we’ve remained undefeated in the championship within the province and this afternoon at Hyde Park we crushed Sligo, running up what I’m almost certain was the biggest winning margin ever in a Connacht final as we cruised to five Nestor Cup titles in a row.

I think we all expected a win heading to Roscommon today – I certainly did and thought that we might even win with ease – but a victory of the proportions achieved was never something we could have imagined would happen. How could we? Sligo looked like worthy opponents going into today’s final having confidently torpedoed the uppity Rossies in the semi-final. We knew that the last thing we wanted to happen today was to get dragged into a dogfight with the doughty Yeatsmen.

Our lads seemingly thought so too. The ball was hardly thrown in at a packed Hyde Park when we hit them with a ferocity they simply couldn’t live with. A point and a goal from Cillian O’Connor had them staggering, a second goal – with barely five minutes gone – swept to the net by the galloping Seamus O’Shea, after a neat one-two with Aidan, saw them hit the deck.

Having seized the initiative so early, we moved in swiftly for the kill. The impressive Diarmuid O’Connor, raiding up the right wing, fired over his and our second point of the day and Cillian popped over the next one to ease us ten clear.

The Magpies eventually opened their account with a point but then Aidan O’Shea responded in kind, claiming a long ball in from Tom Parsons, who’d fetched clean possession from David Clarke’s kickout.

Marren got a second for them but Jason Doherty cancelled that one out with a boomer at the other end. Then Aidan O’Shea, like a magnet the way every long ball in was sticking to him, gathered another well-directed long one and lashed it into the net. By now it was already clear that a real hammering was on the cards.

We lost Sheamie soon after – with what I think was a groin strain – as Barry Moran came on to replace the Breaffy man. Shortly after that our net was breached for the first time. Brendan Egan should, though, have been pulled for overcarrying – the Vinnies man took at least 12 steps before lashing the ball into the top left corner of the net.

The suffering Sligo faithful didn’t have long, however, to enjoy that score. We went straight down the other end of the field, with Andy feeding Barry Moran who slipped it to Aidan who finished it to the net.

By half-time we were eleven points clear – enjoying a 4-9 to 1-6 lead – and with the Sligo keeper Aidan Devanney having tipped a piledriver from Cillian over just before the break, it could have been worse for them.

But it got worse, much worse, for them after the break. Although much of the intensity was gone from a game long over as a contest, we kept coming at them in waves and those waves engulfed the hapless Magpies in a torrent of second half scores, as our winning margin bulged to an incredible 26 points at the finish.

We got the first three points after the break – Jason (from play), Cillian (from a ’45) and Donal Vaughan (his second of the day, following an end-to-end move) – and then, after Marren pulled one back, Diarmuid O’Connor almost nonchalently knocked over one with his left foot.

Cian Breheny, under enormous pressure, thumped over a glorious point for them but then we peppered them with 2-4 without reply to floor them completely.

The first of these two goals came from Aidan, another glorious catch and emphatic finish to complete a hat-trick of majors. The next score was another goal, with Cillian O’Connor squaring for the in-rushing Lee Keegan to bat home.

They responded to these hammer blows with a second goal, another bad one to concede from our point of view but well put away by Pat Hughes. Our response to this was a late flurry of points from players sprung from the bench, with two of them from Mark Ronaldson and one each from Alan Dillon, Chris Barrett and Patrick Durcan. Mercifully, only a minute of added time was played with a late free from Cillian closing out the win and sealing our fifth Connacht title on the spin.

Mayo Sligo final score

Hat-trick hero Aidan O’Shea was, once again, our main man today but he wasn’t the only one. Cillian, looking sharp and fitter than he’s been in a long while, was a menacing presence in the forward line too and he was his customary excellent self from placed balls.

Tom Parsons put in a real storming shift at midfield, winning bags of possession, where he was full of pace and powerful running, driving some great ball into the dangerzone. Dessie Dolan tonight on The Sunday Game described Tom’s performance as a “complete midfield display” and he wasn’t wrong.

I thought Darmuid O’Connor was excellent today too. This lad is a real thoroughbred – he has pace, power and intelligence in abundance and he showed this in spades with a storming performance, one garlanded with four great points from play. In the Connacht final four years ago, his older brother announced his arrival as a serious inter-county performer and today on the same pitch Diarmuid did likewise.

Despite the enormous margin of victory, it wasn’t in any sense a complete performance and there’s been plenty of comment in the hours since about our continuing inability to deal effectively with goal threats. Today this problem continued unabated, with pandemonium breaking out virtually every time a high ball was lofted towards our square on a day that saw us cough up another two more goals that shouldn’t have happened.

It’s an issue, for sure, but one that I’d say (merely repeating what Jim McGuinness observed some weeks back) is more to do with the lack of an effective defensive structure than it is the players we’re fielding at the back. It’s a problem that’s screaming out to be sorted, however, and it’s something we simply have to work on before we get to Croke Park.

In the meantime, there’s a short while for us to celebrate our 46th Connacht title and our first provincial five-in-a-row since (despite what the record books may say) we last completed the feat back in 1910. And, of course, there’s also that Round 4B qualifier tie between Donegal and Galway, to be played at some point over the August Bank Holiday weekend, to watch out for as it’s likely (though not 100% certain – Tyrone could be in the mix too) that it’ll be the winner of that one that we’ll be facing at the All-Ireland quarter-final stage the weekend after that.

Mayo: David Clarke; Ger Cafferkey, Donal Vaughan (0-2), Keith Higgins; Lee Keegan (1-0), Tom Cunniffe, Colm Boyle; Seamus O’Shea (1-0), Tom Parsons; Diarmuid O’Connor (0-4), Aidan O’Shea (3-4), Kevin McLoughlin; Andy Moran, Cillian O’Connor (1-7, four frees and a ‘45), Jason Doherty (0-2). Subs: Barry Moran (0-1), Alan Dillon (0-1) for Andy Moran, Brendan Harrison for Cafferkey, Mark Ronaldson (0-2) for McLoughlin, Patrick Durcan (0-1) for Keegan, Chris Barrett for Boyle.

102 thoughts on “Mayo 6-25 Sligo 2-11: six of the best to complete Connacht five-in-a-row

  1. Looks like keeping defensive plan under wraps.
    Diarmuid OConnor showing great form again. Also Tom Parsons. Those two are additions really from last year in terms of starters.
    Cillian looked match fit and kicked his frees well.
    Full back line not too great in one on ones.

  2. Five in a row well done Mayo 6 25 wow what a performance. Great shift from the lads and looking forward to next time out. Bit worried about how open we are at the back but the lads should be planning for that and no point showing your hand on a day like this.
    We are in the mix now no doubt but Kerry n Dubs have to be beaten despite all .
    Pat Spilane still too smug for my liking

  3. Men against boys.
    Looking like Mayo vs the Dubs in an epic Croker semi final.
    Mouth watering

  4. Wow!!! thats how you beat a team, Mayo had their plan executed, yes we conceded a lot, but Mayo knew they would kill then, so offensive strategy was going to work.

    on a seperate note, can we set up a petition to get Billy Fitz of midwest, that man is so negative,

  5. A fantastic 5 in a row and what a scoreline…………………yes we conceded 2 -11 but this was not a game about defense as you can only play what’s in front of you and set up in that way.
    Our defense is still under the radar and we can set up and play much differently if and when needed, today was all about going forward and we done that in style……………….this game against Div 3 opposition we were always going to be damned if we do or we don’t.
    We have our 5 now and the dream is still alive, let’s enjoy it.
    MaighEo Abu

  6. Fair play Ciaran Whelan contradicting Spillane regarding only Aido n Cillian. Diarmuid seems physically and game wise to have stepped up massively. His runs, tracking and passing for me are very impressive. Was always going to need a season of strength work to bring him up. Seems like an 800m runner when gets going with a long stride. Keeps his head up really well. Has two footedness.

  7. There will be no semi final for us if our defence doesnt step up a gear …thats all we learned from today ..congrats to Boys..they didnt what needed to be done ..Think some green btls with my name on Them in town !

  8. Well done to Mayo. Some great skills on show today, aos chipping it up off the ground a few times, diarmuid o Connors chip shot over the bar, etc. though nothing learned other than the defense is still leaking goals. Sligo should have had 2 more.easily.
    Aos is now a forward that will be hard to stop even by Kerry or Dublin, I’d bring gibbons into the panel for mobile midfield cover this evening and leave aiden to do what he does best, score. They deserve great respect to come out after all the heartache and be contenders again. It can’t be easy on them, but, they have to close the deal and win Sam with this team, too good not to do it.
    Kerry and Dublin stand in the way, if we can limit either to a goal or 2 there’s no reason Mayo won’t lift Sam in September. Jason gibbons has to be brought in straight away, Dublin will not beat us if we have the legs in midfield. Also, I think Andy is near the end of the line, it’s too fast for him even though he wins ball, I think conroy or ronaldson will start the next day.

  9. Great win! Ciaran Whelan very fair in his analysis as usual! The panel said we were playing winners of Galway/ Donegal in quarter final. Is that already decided?

  10. The classic damned if you do damned if you don’t scenario today…

    Great win, now move on

    What I will say is AOS is simply an absolute revelation in full forward, he’s borderline unplayable

    Two “marquee” forwards now, if we can just tighten up at the back…

  11. Aidan o Shea player of the year himself and cillian could cause havoc and maybe Galway and Mayo again

  12. today didn’t tell us much–the full back line must be strengthened and Andy Moran
    must improve .Its Galway or Tyrone and either should not be too much.

    This team deserved and deserve an All Ireland .They can achieve it.

  13. Double sweeper required.

    FB line is a joke at this stage. 2 goals conceded to a div 3 team that were getting hammered on a tight pitch.
    Sweepers – SOS to cut out high ball. Barret to tackle on the ground.

    Cunniffe, Doh and A Moran to the bench:








  14. Observer it’s most likely we’ll play Donegal. Would be very surprised if galway beat them

    Far from a gimme that one, but I’d relish it! If you want to win an AI you need to be able to beat the best teams

  15. Fantastic win.If I was a neautral I’d feel sorry for Sligo.Can anyone tell me if Mayo has ever put that up in a championship game before ? Or another team for the that matter. Now let’s look at our defense. It is a weakness everyone can see that but surely Conneely and Holmesy who themselves were defenders can see we need to come up with a strategy for that. AOS will more than likely be a marked man so we need another plan for him if he is marked out of it and finally we need to be ready for the next game .We need a test and come through it. 5 in a row fantastic but there is bigger fish to fry.

  16. Some ridiculous comments – Andy put in a super shift, won every ball that came his direction and used it well setting up a lovely goal for Aidan. We were caught at the back again and need to tighten up but overall a super performance against what was a really poor Sligo Team. Onwards and upwards. Up Mayo!

  17. Firstly…we play winners of Donegal v galway which will be a very close game. That’s as tough a quarter final as you can get really so we need to get focused on that alone.

    I’d love to buy into what some of you are saying about us holding our defence ‘plan’ in reserve but I dont. We were horribly exposed again and gave a mediocre division 3 side 4/5 goal scoring opportunities. Not trying to rain on the parade here but let’s be realistic, it’s just not good enough and it will be our downfall if it’s not sorted out. I find it hard to see how a team can suddenly adopt a new defensive system when it suits. Donegal took a year or two to masters theirs.

    Super to win 5 in a row but the opposition was poor and we have plenty of things to improve on if we want to win a QF.

  18. It was a super attacking performance. It was a below average defensive performance. If Sligo can score 2-11 what could Donegal or galway rack up??!

    If you told Sligo before the game that they’d dcore 2-11 and Clarke would stop two point blank shots, they’d probably have thought they’d win the match!

  19. Let us enjoy todays great win . some great play today but without a full back its our last win this year i think .dublin kerry ect having a laugh at us .

  20. How f**king long does it take to learn. this is going on back as far a 2004 (conceding stupid sloppy goals)and repeating it over and over and over again year in year out.

  21. Dublin Kerry “having a laugh” at us??

    Crikey some of these comments!! 😀 😀

  22. Great win for Mayo. Sligo were completely overwhelmed by the pace and physicality of our lads and after about 10mins they all looked shell-shocked. On the day our defence might have looked a bit suspect, but today was not about defending, as the game was over as a contest from very early. Next game will be a different story.

    One wonders now what gain there was to anyone, by playing the match in the Hyde, other than the loss of revenue.

  23. Any team waiting to play us and seeing how bloody easy it is to score many goals against us will be laughing,

  24. There’s no pleasing some of ye . I have to admit I have limited experience of playing football but I do remember when you were far superior in a game , your focus changes , you know it’s won, you can kill them anytime ya want , you switch off , have the craic even , kick with your weaker foot etc etc . And what are ye on about Galway would do this or that , sure why the food didnyt they when they had us only a few weeks ago on their own patch, they were going hell for leather and they still couldn’t beat us whilst we were comin in cold since our last league game they had been out twice .

    AOS is unplayable at times , Ffs, try and move forward to the positives , we are well capable of setting up a semi final with the dubs . Every year since 12 we have improved from provincial to Croker , what’s to say 15 is going to be different .

    Embrace this great era , we have a right good chance , I’m telling ya.

  25. Fantastic win any day you hit 6-25 in championship football you got be this a record score for mayo in championship? Some great positives aos a one man wrecking ball inside.cillian was very good plays off aos well.diarmuid o Connor was excellent and has shown massive improvement this year.vaughan was excellent as was parsons.good to see lads that came off bench getting few scores to.on the flip side we did concede 2-11.that 4 goals in 2 championship games conceded but it something we have to work on and pat Holmes said it himself to after.but it’s great to see the hunger is there.roll on the 8th August get the green and red flying these lads deserve our support there a credit to there county.possibly we could end up playing Donegal.rumour has it Donegal v Galway be in castlebar sat 1st March be great if it was.

  26. Huge congrats to our lads on a fantastic achievement. Well done management, too. I feel at the start of the year there were many pundits and football people alike outside the County that thought (and maybe hoped) that this Mayo team would lie down. Never!!! We don’t go away.
    I must say I agree that there is serious concern about our backs being opened up again today. More often than not Sligo’s forwards were beating our lads to the ball. This isn’t good enough and I hope we are concealing a master plan.

    Not a bit surprised with Aido today. What a monster and what skills he displayed.
    It was very positive to see Cillian well on the way to getting back his fitness and he will really benefit from today.

    The biggest positive of all today, for me, was Diarmuid O’Connor’s display. What a engine, and he was so in tune from the start. I though he looked sharp even in the warm-up! Pebblesmeller, your premonition was bang on there. Very well spotted.

    For today, lets just enjoy the 5 in a row. Come on Mayo!!!

  27. From a Sligo perspective that was humiliating and embarrassing. Well done to the Mayo lads they put up a fine performance, were very sharp and ruthless.
    Carew and Sligo management have to take a huge portion of the blame for this. There was obviously no homework done on Mayo. If Carew had watched the Galway game they would have seen an experienced defender like Hanley get taken to the cleaners by O Se. However they expected a raw 19 year old who was a midfielder up to this year to contain him. No sweepers, no blanket defence, no midfielders, the most clueless management I have ever seen at this level. Having said that there was a gulf in class between the 2 teams. Employing a proper defensive structure would have ensured a much lower score conceded.

  28. Great to watch the goals flying in today, well done mayo on a fifth title in a row. Hate to say it but think a few players may be past their best, and it’s not because of age, McLoughlin cafferkey and cunniffe are surely under pressure to keep their starting place

  29. Kerry’s goal leaking stats are worse than ours. Donegal and Monaghan are the teams to learn from.
    As for clichés, Spillane had a few lined up in advance and threw them in at half time. Veni Vidi vichi was his favourite.
    Men vs. boys
    Goals win matches
    Division 1 vs. 3

    Panel thought we’d have a defensive plan for next game. Hope so.

  30. Tipper, if you had 15 Sligo men in defense it would still have been a massacre with the form Mayo were in. I feel bad for Sligo this evening but that’s the way it is. Totally overpowered and the beards didn’t work either.
    Do as we Mayo heads do, get back up and try again. I know Tyrone are no joke but at least you have middling good forwards to feed the ball to.

  31. Aidan Oshea is probably the best footballer in Country at the moment, we are so lucky to have him,
    I was surprised with the subs today, I thought Freeman & Conroy would get a run any word on Regan, Kirby were they not togged today.
    Spillane reckons we have improved on last year I think that is a great positive seeing as we were so close.

    Holmes & Connelly could prove to be a master stroke yet after all the fuss last October !

  32. A fantastic win, great performance. Andy ,fine for today but not enough pace for when we travel up the country and backs still leaky.

  33. What a way to win the 5 in a row !! A ruthless and relentless performance throughout. A massive congratulations to all the players and management. We’ll savour today and leave the areas for improvement for another day.

  34. Don’t agree Dave. Westmeath made it difficult against a better team than Mayo last weekend and weren’t slaughtered by 26 points.

  35. Wonder maybe could Patrick Durcan add that bit of get out in front pace at the back? We didn’t simply look pacy enough at the back. First thing with any defense is to be doing better in making things difficult one on one. Solve that first before any sweepers.

  36. I believe it will be Mayo v Donegal if they beat us in the next round.
    If Galway win – I think it is Mayo v Tyrone as we’ve already met.
    I’m assuming Tyrone will beat Sligo be shocked if they’re not demoralised after that

  37. At last we are getting some positive views from the comments on here after our 5 in a row…………agree totally with Sean, Aiden, Shuffley Liberal etc…………………….The 2-11 against has to be taken in context with what was happening the other end…….we were pressing high all day and therefore our half back line and mid field weren’t tracking back as fast as they would against other opposition, that left our backs too exposed at times but they should have done better………….keeping Sligo goal – less would not have taught us much, where as we learned more by conceding.
    That said there were many, many positives besides the score .
    Do’C, AoS, Parsons, Cillian,Vaughan,Doc, B Moran to name a few but for me was the use and accuracy of our kick passing and the quicker delivery of the ball inside. The actual spread of scores and the scorers even against Sligo was impressive for a team written of for scoring ability by so many.
    Finally, the heart and intensity of a team, most who’ve been on the road at the highest level for the past 5 years.
    Thanks Lads and Management……..1975 is put to bed for me after that.
    MaighEo Abu

  38. Wow what a performance. Sligo are not a bad team but Mayo destroyed them. Aidan O Se must be the best footballer in the country right now. 5 in a row should not be sniffed at.
    I think some posters here owe those of us in the David Clarke camp an apology, two excellent saves today. Worrying seeing that FB line but I believe we will have a defensive plan for the next day….it was not needed today.

    We could well be playing Galway next! I assume their game with Donegal will be in Castlebar.

  39. Is their anyone giving Galway a chance against Donegal according to the expects on Sunday game their not. Here’s hoping.

  40. I think you’d have to say on current form that Aidan O Shea is probably the best player in the country right now.
    Absolute tank of a man but with the skill to go with it

  41. I don’t think we’ll beat Donegal but I certainly give us a chance.
    Heard a rumour it might be a double header in Croker on Sat 1st August

  42. Galway might well beat donegal, one donegal player today saying on the independent that he may not keep going and some teammates were the same mind. Now, if Galway win, can we possibly be playing Tyrone if they beat Sligo? Or is that a different draw? Or is it defo Galway/donegal no matter what ?

  43. O’Shea and McManus I’d say alright Galwayman. Both are playing at a ridiculous level

    Can’t see Galway beating donegal, but I think it’s a great test for them to see where they’re at. and you’d never know. Galway Mayo in Croker would be EPIC

    I wouldn’t be hoping for anyone in particular at this stage, Cait, be careful what you wish for and all that! 🙂

  44. I would give Galway a very good chance but I think Donegal may just bounce back for this one. The question is lads are we better than last year? I think we have certainly changed things about but its still to early to know .No harm in that .

  45. Aidan o Shea gets a lot of media coverage more so them cillian Is that a fair comment hopefully cilian gets his form back .

  46. Hard to know mayomaningalway we could easily have lost to Ros last year and even against galway we didn’t really get out of 3rd gear. We mixed the good and the bad v Cork but really stepped up v Kerry.

    To be fair Cait, I love Cillian but even he isn’t near as big an all round threat as Aidan who frankly isn’t far off unplayable on that form. And that’s saying something. Cillian is an outstanding player in his own right but he doesn’t cause the level of carnage Aido does when he gets the ball near the square. That said both are vital to our cause- we’ll need Cillian to really step up if someone manages to deal with Aido

  47. I know but point I making cilian is underrated compared Aidan maybe injuries have something to do with it I thought diarmuid o c was excellent today.

  48. Congrats to mayo. Devastating and embarrassing for us sligo men. I hope the psychological damage can be got over. Aidan o Shea phenomenal…he’ll have harder days but I think he is virtually unmarkable and has come on again from last couple of years. He could be the difference. Only word of caution I’d have for mayo is sligo could easily have 1 or 2 more goals today that the likes of brogan or Connolly would be more ruthless about.

  49. I’d give Galway every chance against Donegal. Gal are improving with each game and have come on a lot defensively and in midfield since their game against us.

    They also have Shane Walsh back and Gary Sice is buzzing.

    Can anyone confirm for certain how the QF will work. Still none the wiser. Can we meet Galway???

    Does anyone know?

  50. I don’t think Cillian is that underrated, he was widely praised for his performances last year, got an All Star, and now seems pretty much unanimously considered a “marquee forward”, that we’ve lacked for a while

    He’s rated about right overall I’d say.

    Diarmuid was outstanding, yes, he could be a great option for us

  51. Lads, just for tonight, be happy. We’ve just won 5 in a row and at my age I know I will never see it again. I might see 6 or 7 in the next couple of years but after that who knows. I remember when we couldn’t win one, so I’m a very happy man tonight . I know we have a few problems in defence , but that’s for another day. This team have given me the best days of my life.

  52. Well if Sligo win we can meet galway

    They hardly will but then again not many saw them beating Ros

  53. how do people think Clarke played today ?

    thought he was excellent ….his kick outs were superb

    Doesn’t seem to kick them high balloons anymore

  54. Cantini…..very gracious comments, thank you. Don’t dwell on this one too much – Mayo were on fire today and once the scores started notching up, they had to push on, in modern ruthless fashion, knowing there would be tougher tests ahead. I live and work in Sligo and can assure you it gave me no satisfaction to seen the men from my adopted County getting that hammering. All I can say is that I agree fully with Dave, above, when he says get back up and try again……….How many times have we in Mayo had to do that, and keep doing it year on year. I recall one particular 22 point humiliation we received in Croker around 1992 from Cork, but we rebuilt and contested 2 AIFs in 1996/97 (two AIF starts in 1996 alone), and the Cork game was long forgotten. The very best of luck in the qualifier !!…….The Sligo lads should die for the County that day and see what happens………

  55. the full back line was v poor again today .

    2 -11 against a very poor division 3 team

  56. Fantastic result today, we can certainly score when we put our minds to it and as others have mentioned above I do hope we have a defensive plan in store for more difficult opponents. I really felt for sligo as we have experience of going 2 goals down early on a big match day, I really hope they hop back on the horse and beat Tyrone. Congratulations to our lads this is a big achievement and one we should all treasure.

  57. AOS is , in this is humble scribe’s opinion, the best footballer in the country at this time by a considerable margin. His physical presence in any given situation gives him a huge head start. The bigger problem then, however, for oppositions is his vast array of silken skills with ball in hand. He is simply a once off, a force of nature. And, boy, are we so lucky that he is one of ours and so committed to the red and green .

  58. The draw is done and dusted Mayonaze, we play winners of gal v don who play in castle ar on 1 August .

  59. Well done to the team, the management and the backroom staff! To win 5 Connacht titles in a row is a great achievement and something that not many counties have done. For this team to keep coming back after all of the disappointments that they have had, has to be applauded and very loudly too. They are a credit to themselves, their families and their clubs.

    The most thing I was happy with was to see us getting back to playing with a great rhythm, intensity and tempo. We had not seen this under Noel and Pat until today so I was delighted to see it. We played great attacking football today which was super to see.

    But we can’t get carried away either. Remember after the Donegal game in 2013, we never managed to produce that kind of performance again that year. So for now we are happy but much bigger tests lie ahead. In fairness to Sligo they kept plugging away and continued to play right until the end. They never gave up or downed tools either so credit to them as well. Roll on the next game…

  60. What is the story with this draw? Can we play anyone of Tyrone (presuming they beat Sligo) and then Donegal or Galway? Is there a rule somewhere saying we cannot play Galway again?! Or is it definitely the winners of Galway/Donegal?

  61. Well said Nephin. So proud of that team/group of players for what they’ve done this last 5 years

  62. Presuming Tyrone beat Sligo – if Donegal beat galway we play Donegal and if galway win we play Tyrone

    Where galway/Donegal and Tyrone/Sligo play will be decided tomorrow

  63. Ballagha/Tommyjoe – can you make up your mind what name you’re posting under and stick with it? Posting comments a few minutes apart from different names coming from the same IP address is a bit dumb.

  64. Great to hear all the comments about me cousin Jason was given a hard time for a good while but is still worthy of a place on the team . Limerick here we come . I agree with the lads above conceding two goals is worrying, and do that in croker and we’ll be beaten . Full forward line was excellent today all be it up against a team who were not at the races at all at all still the shure work rate in the last few minutes was brilliant and bring our A game to crocker and we won’t be to far off the pace . I still don’t think that this particular team will win SAM but I live in hope like many other mayo people . Maigh Eo Abu come on the yew.

  65. Congrats lads on the five in a row. Was not expecting that scorefest today! Will be heading to Donegal v Galway if its in McHale. Its not too often we get to see a championship match played there!

  66. I’d say Durkan as suggested and/or Barrett could well be needed in the next game as both seemed to add bit of zip to defense. A few forwards were quiet too but maybe because of tactic of kick passing into FF line. We should stick with that, great to see, it worked though care will be needed with blanket teams. Young DOC really performing… 2nd contender for MOM.
    Advantage Mayo for Qf as other teams have only week to recover and we’ll be fresh and hopefully all fit.
    Monaghan sure were patient with Donegal blanket going side to side many times before shooting accurately. I think they’re contenders.
    McManus showed McGee very much human after all.
    Conroy bit unlucky not to feature going by club form.

  67. I’d agree with Centrefields selection of Barrett & Seamie (or Harrison’s speed / Durcan has height) sweeping as our new directness has no need for 6 forwards.
    Fair dues to the lads efforts & as touched on-Holmes & Connellys apathy towards league semi final berth & common sense placement of A.O’Se may be just the tonic to reach the promised land.

  68. Also,I’m looking forward to rewatching the game as soon as possible to see if Diarmuid O’Connors soccer style point was the score of the millennium! – at the time his technique looked amazing

  69. A great day. Honestly, does anyone actually care what the national media says. Especially on a Monday. It’s the same shite

  70. Five in a row: what a fantastic achievement. As I stood with the huge crowd for the presentation today, I reflected on what good times these are to be a Mayo supporter.

    At my age, I really enjoy the moment of winning – to hell with Q/F or opposition or anything else – at leas until about Friday of this week. Then I will look under the bonnet.

    Our pace and power today were awesome. Aiden was the capo di tutii capi and enough has been said about him; no, not enough, but a lot. What was also impressive was the fielding the sudden take off, the interchanges and the turnovers. Parsons, Barry, Donie, Seamie, the marshalling by Cillian, even the zip and enthusiasm of Durcan, and indeed Barrett as well.

    I will leave our leaky defending to another day. However, Sligo’s FF line is a seriious threat to any team, if, we hope, they bounce back and give Tyrone one for us all in the qualifier.

  71. Good man Spillan!! The major problem they have touted for Mayo over the past few years is we had no “marquee” forward. Now he admits we have two of the best in the country but two is not enough!! “Dublin and Kerry have more”

    RTE pundits are just living with their heads up their own arse or they are just plain lazy..basing their comments on cliches that have been formed over the years rather than the plain evidence and facts of the games they have just watched.

    I dont agree with some comments here that our defence cannot be judged on that game. In my view if we cannot shut out a below par attack of a team that we are completely dominating all over the pitch(except our full back line) then It is naive to think we can just fix all the MAJOR problems at the flick of a switch against a Donegal/Dublin. Sorry lads but we will get roasted by the dubs with an unorganised defensive unit like we have right now.(and it seems to be getting worse by the game)

    On another note. 5 Connaughts in a row is a massive achievement. Unbeaten since 2010. Fair play to the lads.

    Up to management to sort out our defensive woes. Get that job done in the next month, with the added “Monster from Mayo” in full forward and we will lift Sam in 2015!!

  72. MASSACRE…..6-25 to 2-11

    M is for Mayo, Magnificence and Magic

    A is for Aiden O Shea, a real star.

    S is for Six of the best with more to
    S is for sixty four years awaiting.!
    A is for A Second five in a row.
    C is for Croker awaiting
    R is for Remember 50/51.
    E is for Every Cloud Has A Silver lining!

    Would people prefer a score of 5-21 to 1-9? Or 7-31 to 1-15. Or 1-16 to 6 pts. There’s no pleasing us and that’s part of the biz.
    It’s just great to be alive on this magnificent Monday morning lying in a tent in France Sud with a fresh breeze wafting in after such a wonderful experience yesterday. True .. B Fitz is like that but sure u can pick on so many. Just let us keep the heads up and the brains alert and hope for the best.
    Allez Mayo !!

  73. Got the job done in the first five minutes. Obviously went out determined to set the tempo of the game and immediately went for the jugular with a full press on all Sligo kick outs.

    Aidan O’Shea had a colossal game but this was made feasible with complete and utter dominance out the field. Tom Parsons continues to improve and had a fine game. The delivery into the inside line today was excellent. I’ve seen a few negative comments about the performance of Andy Moran but I thought he did what was required on the day. He was out in front and feeding simple passes into AOS and COC.

    Diarmuid O’Connor continues to develop into an excellent footballer and is clearly growing in confidence with every game. And it should be noted that Jason Doc answered a lot of critics on this forum yesterday.

    Lots to improve on too but that’s for another day. Five in a row. Drink it in.

  74. pat Hughes scored a great individual goal for Sligo as ado did for Mayo.Can we stop slating our full back line these are the best players we have .They did a lot of good things yesterday.We need to build these lads up and stop knocking them at every opportunity .

  75. Delighted with that win and that my man Diarmid O Conor showed what a talent he is .
    All the postives have being talked about at lenght and thats great but just a few things

    – With andy coming off and all the focus on Aido and Cillian in the fullforward line this may well work out to the advantage of andy . There will be less focus on him and with most likely the McGee’s picking up Cillian and Aido, Andy may well profit from more space .

    – Diarmid O conor was born in Intercounty football, yesterday, regardless of opposition, his skills and pace were ther efor all to see on top of the hard work he does.
    Excellent stuff .

    – Tom Parsons wont have it as easy against say Donegal but if Seamie picks up N Gallagher, then it should be Tom v Mcilhenny and , tom is a far superior player to him .
    – I was/am worried about the form of Kevin Mc, he isnt showing too well.
    I do wonder with the form of Jason Doh, DOC will it be Kevin who goes back into the fullback line to play as sweeper .
    Personally he is good enough of footballer, but does he give any major physical or aerial presence? I would sooner play Vaughan there, if he commits to not crossing the 40 .

    – Was bit disapointed in seeing Dillion being first sub used again if we need to go to the well in croker will Dillion be the first sub?

    – The intorduction of a nippy little cornerforward to inject pace and live into the powerful powerful fullforward line may well be a tactic that will work a dream for us .
    Say Conroy or Ronaldson coming on and giving a different outlet and attacking option to Cillian and Aido should reake havoc on any opposition gameplan to tie down that duo.
    I hear Conroy is flying in training so thats why I was suprised he didnt get a run instead of Dillion .

    All positive and great moving forward professional display and can be nothing but proud of the lads so bring on next test .

  76. 5 in a row is a massive achievement for the team and it should not be discarded in terms of any bigger picture. Not many teams achieve a 5 in a row provincial success so on that merit alone the team can and should take some satisfaction from their achievements yesterday an to date.

    Fro the game itself there were serious good performances around the field with notably AOS. Tom P, and the O’Connor bros up top. At the back we still do have questions to answer and everyone now is persistently posing these in the media. The big flaw in that argument is that if you are to play a sweeper and a more defensive structure something further up the field will have to suffer.

    From the Sligo viewpoint I have some sympathy for the Yeats men. No one wants or needs a beating like that and its not really a true reflection of their team and what they have achieved in Connacht this year.

    On the other hand I don’t agree with this argument about (“If Sligo were told before the game they would score 2-11 they would take it handy”) argument. The only reason they scored that much was because they played an attacking open game. If they had adopted a more defensive one right from the beginning there is no way that this scoreline would have been recorded.

    Overall its onwards and upwards. There is still a lot of work to do though. The biggest hope I have for this team is they can push on from yesterday and continue to improve.

    If they can they have a serious shout later on in the year.

  77. Good win .Happy with that.Wish someone would clarify who we can play now.Everyone you talk to has dofferent view even on here!

  78. Article on Journal seems fairly definite seemingly based upon who has already played each other in Ulster and Connacht.

    August 1st-2nd – Round 4B
    Tyrone v Sligo
    Galway v Donegal

    August 8th – Quarter-finals
    Mayo v Galway/Donegal
    Monaghan v Tyrone/Sligo

  79. But I think JPM if Galway were to win then it might become an open draw?

  80. Agree with Kevin Mc being quiet by his very high standards and that maybe he’s the guy we need as sweeper and might give him new lease of life. Also with hindsight seeing Conroy or Regan instead of Dillon who also had one of his quieter games. On positive side Ronaldson looked very good.

  81. ..yes Andy behind on few balls early on but then started winning them well and he was really spraying around passes better than anyone.

  82. Great result for the lads yesterday, game over in the first 5 minutes. David Clarke had a great game in goals with at least 2 superb saves which would have been definite goals, so the argument about who should be number 1 should be put to bed. His kick outs were also very good, quick on the retakes when required, something we werent going when robbie was in goals. Still leaking goals, i think tom will be the man who will lose his spot when we get to croker. Diarmuid o connor put a great shift in aswell. onwards and upwards to croker, now is the time to put the double sweeper in place for croker. No more soft games. Maigh Eo Abu

  83. Andy had good run out I thought, won ball on front showed his turns nicely, great distribution, no worries for me, thought he done well .

    I just didnt understand what we were gaining by playing Dillon, we had game won was it not a chance to build confidence of Conroy/freeman/Ronaldson/Loftus etc .

    Even play Mikey Sweeney in the playmaker role .
    I have nothing against Dillon but just thought we coulr try something different .

  84. McLoughlin has been quiet for Mayo for quite a while now. I’m sure he knows this himself and he will need to work harder.

  85. Take it we are Playing Donegal, I think one sweeper will be enough .
    It really will be horses for course but I did worry abit about Tom C form at fullback, now he did have a better half as the game went on but even so for Pat Hughes goal he should have put man ball and everything down the field with a punch .
    It in him no doubt, he has the traits of a top defender and has proven himself to be that just a little off colour the last two games .

    _______________Kevin Mc or Barrett?

    ___________________Vaughan/M Murphy
    ___________SOS/Gallagher___Tom P / McIlhenny



  86. It’s great craic winning all the time. But I did not see yesterday coming at all. While it’s food for thought, I’m not too worried about our concession. When you play as open as we did yesterday you’re going to concede. I’m glad we played like that and bagged 6 goals. Remember we were worried about a goal drought not so long ago? Well hell’s bells, that’s well gone now!

    I think it looks fairly obvious that a huge part of training ha been the execution of quality ball into the FF line. Because it is, by a distance, better than ever

    Well done boys

  87. My understanding of the quarter final draw is that provincial finalists can’t play each other and repeat pairings are avoided where possible:

    If Donegal win, we are playing Donegal.
    If Galway win and Sligo win, we are playing Galway.
    If Galway win and Tyrone win, we are playing Tyrone.

  88. I noted early in the first half at one point that Sligo pulled everyone back except one of their full forwards. Caff came over towards the sideline to ask what to do as his man had gone back the pitch.

    At this point they had the option of leaving two Mayo men back in the full back line on one Sligo man, one man marker and a sweeper. But he was told to stay man for man, so he slotted back as sole man marker and Tom Cunniffe went up the pitch.

    I hope, hope being the operative word, that this means they have rehearsed different defensive game plans and will be able to switch them on as needs be.

    Similarly, Mayo’s defenders kept jumping in on incoming ball yesterday (Caff in particular), hoping to win the ball first time and launch a counter attack – it’s a high risk, big gain vs big loss tactic that generally worked considering the opposition and scoreline. Their alternative was to not jump in and shepherd and pressure the Sligo men out the field and wait for numbers to filter back and choke the opposition. They opted not to do that. Again, I hope that they have practiced and will be able to make the right choice in Croke Park, because it might have worked for Sligo, but it is highly likely to go unpunished from now on.

    If we do end up against Donegal, don’t we all know they are going to stick Michael Murphy up top in the first 10 minutes and rain down ball on our full back line. I hope they’ll plan and practice for it straight away. Thankfully in Aidan O’Shea we have someone who can be *like Michael Murphy* in training.

  89. Yesterday was surreal. I’m sure I’m not the only one whose mind drifted in those first 10 minutes back to the starts we had against Kerry in 2004 and 2006. When the game is over before it begins, maybe any analysis is redundant. But anyway…

    – 6-25 is an incredible scoreline. Think back to the 1993 or 1987 Connacht finals, where we chiselled out 1-5 and 0-7 respectively. Then look at yesterday’s scoreline again.

    – We’ve all pined for Mayo teams to be ruthless. Yesterday we got that. We know that we won’t meet a defence this generous again. But ruthlessness is a habit and here’s hoping we’ve picked up that habit now.

    – Ruthlessness up front, that is. We all saw what happened at the back. I’m hoping that H & C are now going to spend 3 weeks on goal prevention strategies. Conceding two goals a game is destroying our defenders’ confidence.

    – Tip of the hat to the Sligo crowd for (a) their phenomenal turnout, and (b) staying to the bitter end of the senior game. I bet they’ll have a huge crowd against Tyrone too. Best of luck to them.

    – Aidan will get all the plaudits. But Cillian kicked it all off with his 1-1. The man is fantastic. Left foot, right foot, frees, a 45, some great passing too. He’s a marvel.

    – Here’s hoping Kevin Mc finds his form again soon. He won’t stop working, that’s for sure.

    – If O’Connor Jr. backs up his scoring yesterday with a few more in the Q-F, we’ll have a serious prospect on our hands. Scoring was all he was missing.

    – Did Seamus O’Shea pick up an injury?


    About ten minutes in i thought sligo were being ‘kerried’, if you know what i mean.

    at no time did i feel mayo took their foot off the gas either. maybe thats something we didn’t see in mayo teams pre james horan? mayo might still be fierce nice fellas but as a team they have become ruthless and unrelenting and i am glad to see it.

  91. Hey all, well done on yesterday, it was a complete mismatch espcially in physicality stakes, i am not here to troll or anything like that, god knows we have enough problems of our own to sort out, while I am sure ye all know that one sparrow doesnt make a summer i would not read much into O’Sheas performance yesterday, the same Sligo full back conceded 3.1 to Enda Smith in the first half of an under 21 game earlier this year. Saying all that however he will be a serious handful for any defensive system this year.

    As a defensive unit the bulk of the players are in their peak now and hitting 29/30 quickly, ye dont appear to be introducing much young talent into the back 6, i know its a catch 22 situation as ye want to play ye’re best and experience players in the hope of progressing as much as possible so opportunities to give gametime to new players is difficult but are ye worried about this or is there young lads coming through that are capable of replacing the current group?

  92. Lads I don’t get the panic about Kev. While he was quiet yesterday I thought he was very good against Galway, worked like a trojan, showed wonderfully for kickouts, gave some great passes, won nice breaks and constantly made himself available as an option and just all round made a nuisnace of himself generally. I’ve watched the match back a few times and still conclude he was one of our better players on the day

    That said I do think it’s perhaps fair to say he hasn’t consistently reached those heights of 2012 since, but he’s a damn important player for us, and is very important to our cause, for me.

    Agree on comments that Clarke had a stellar game, and it’s surely fair to say he has the number 1 shirt nailed down for the moment. I personally hope it reduces the back and forth debates about who our number one should be- not that it isn’t a big topic of discussion and a very interesting one, and I fully believe there is a case to be made for both starting, but too many have veered into the territory of putting down the other, in order to further talk up their own choice, which in my view is completely unfair- we are absolutely Blessed to have two of the best keepers (three even!) in Ireland. Whoever the lads go with (who see challenge matches, training etc each week) then I’m fine with that

    Anyhow it’s wonderful waking up today to the realisation we have nailed 5 Connacht’s in a row and we once again go into August in wonderful spirits. Long may our dominance continue!

  93. With all due respect ‘Hontheross’ if you can’t read much into a particular players performance, based solely on the standard of opposition, there’s no real point in analysing matches like these at all so. You have to take every game on it’s merits, and in this particular one he was outstanding

    If it was so easy get a hat-trick against them, how come Cillian didn’t get one aswell, maybe Doherty- even Andy Moran should be getting a goal or two aswell surely! AIdan can only deal with who he’s up against and he did that superbly. Lest we forget he was every bit as effective against galway, and might have nabbed a couple of goals there but for the laughably cynical antics of Finian Hanley- who I see was at it again Saturday giving away a blatant penalty which somehow wasn’t given! Galway are in the last 12 for the third year in a row.

    Number 4 tried to pick up O’Shea a good bit aswell, it wasn’t just the ‘fullback’.

    It’s the classic damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario. Even poor aul Monaghan, who were at a real low ebb as recently as 2012, have nabbed their second Ulster title in 3 years. Yet, a lot of the talk is all about how Donegal were ‘tired’ and all this, yet they still had to be beaten!

    Of course he’ll face tougher tests down the road but we can only analyse him on his showings so far and he has been amazing

    As for the ‘aging’ defence, yes there’s no doubt it’s a bit of a concern but if we were to even bring one a year in for the next 5 perhaps we’d be doing fine I feel. Hopefully Durcan and Coen can grow into regulars in the next few seasons, and even Keane and Keegan are only mid 20s. Lads like Shane McHale and Harrison, who are there or thereabouts for the past few seasons are still young.

  94. Heard on radio yesterday post match that our 6 = 25 equals the highest score ever in a championship game, that of Dublin’s 10 = 13 v Longford in 1960. Dublin’s Johnny Joyce scored, I think, 5 = 1 in that game so Aiden has a bit to do yet.
    Incidentally I hear we are to have a rewrite of the Sawdoctors song “Will Galway bate Mayo”. The new version is to go “not if they have Aiden O’Shea”. I’m sure Willie Joe [the original Willie Joe] won’t mind.

  95. I just googled Johnny Joyce and it appears he actually scored 5 = 3. all from play, and he claims another goal which was give as an o g. His shot was headed for the net and was helped in by a Longford defender.
    Incidentally it seems Longford scored 3 = 8, same as Sligo yesterday.
    The only player to exceed Joyce’s 5 = 3 in championship appears to be Declan Darcy of Leitrim with 2 = 13 v London. But that was over 70 minutes with extra time added as it was a draw after time was up.

  96. I’m sure this is our year, Donegal looked ordinary yesterday and I feel we will take them handy, if we play anything like we played yesterday, then a shoot out against the Dubs who we have a decent record against. Then I guess it’s Kerry in the final, who we owe an almighty beating, keep it up lads, 3 more wins and we are champions.

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